Guest post by Kelly Treesh. Kelly and her husband Ted have six children, four biological children and two adopted daughters. They have fostered 17 children so far.
A sweet little boy, just 8 years old, came into our care late one night. Daniel was scared, holding tight to an Optimus Prime Transformer toy and a garbage bag that contained just a few of his belongings. He didn’t have a suitcase, backpack or duffle bag, so a garbage bag held his entire world. This was the case for many of the 17 children we have welcomed to our home over the past four years.
I bent to my knees and asked Daniel if he was scared, and he indicated that he was. He gave me permission to hug him, and it was at that very moment, I fell in love. I assured Daniel that we would keep him safe and make sure he had anything he needed.
Four of our children were awake with us when we greeted the young boy at our door. My 12-year-old daughter knelt on the ground and asked Daniel if he wanted to play with some toy trucks. Our new family member followed her slowly into the living room where the trucks were waiting for him. All four children played with Daniel while my husband and I spoke with his case manager and then saw her out.
My kids are always beyond excited when a child comes to stay with us. They understand that the children are frightened and scared and try to be gentle and welcoming to them. My kids have sacrificed a lot – time with my husband and me, their space, and their things.
Daniel shared a room with my 10-year-old son, and they grew close during the three months Daniel was with us. Eventually, Daniel was reunited with his sister in another foster home. When I told my son that Daniel would be leaving, I thought he would be happy to have his room to himself again. But instead he began to cry. “I don’t want him to go because I love him,” he said. We lay down together on the bed and cried.
I am very blessed still to be in touch with Daniel’s biological mom. Fortunately, Daniel and his two sisters will be going home to their mother in a week! We will maintain close contact with the family and serve as a surrogate family to the mom and her sweet children.
Over the years, my daughter and I have developed a ritual when the kids leave. We sit down at the bottom of the stairs and talk about how we hope we made a positive impact in that child’s life.
When any of the kids leave our home, they always take a piece of our hearts with them. However, it is such a beautiful gift given to us when the kids come – THEY enrich OUR lives!